September 1st, 2014

Naama Kates - Souled

   By Alex Teitz

Describing Namma Kates music is difficult. She has the dream pop style of Tori Amos. The jazz stylings of Norah Jones or Nina Simone. Her vocals hide a wonder from close to Iris Dement to Avril Lavigne. Her arrangements are clever and unexpected. Naama Kates comes back to one word: unique.
Souled, Naama Kates third album, is filled with talent. Kates is all vocals, piano and synthesizer. Cyrus Melcher is the producer of the album, and also plays bass, guitar, synthesizer as well as engineering and arranging. Joseph Harvey is on cello. GE Stinson is on guitars. Rich West is on drums. Danny Levin is the horn section playing trumpet, trombone, and French horn. Scott Fraser does engineering. The album is mastered by Alexander DeYoung.
Souled is filled with excitement. Kates varies between ethereal dream vocals in “Hurricane” to traditional jazz in “Chime.” She has fast paces lyrics in “Waves.” She contrasts vocals in the playful “Growl” with effects. “On My Love” is a traditional love song with cello arrangements. One of the strongest songs on the album is “Wait Until Bright” that emotes that moment of the night’s last breath before sunrise. “Windows” is a fast paced dance song with background vocals and synthesizer effects. The title song “Souled” is an arrangement filled with horns, drums, piano and lyrics that surprise the listener.
When an artist comes to the third album they’ve discovered who they are and what their sound is. Kates has found a place of excitement and fun that everyone should come to. Her songs are emotive and immerse the listener in the mood of the song, not only the lyrics. Kates may draw comparison to many artists but her style and expression, found in Souled, can’t be duplicated. For info visit www.naamakates.com

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